Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a global box office sensation. The fairy tale remake debuted to a majestic $350 million worldwide during its first weekend in theaters.
The live action update of the 1991 animated classic scored the second biggest March debut on a global basis, coming in behind “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s” $424.1 million launch.
“Beauty and the Beast” earned $180 million internationally and an additional $170 million at the domestic box office, a sterling result for the $160 million-budgeted film. In a sign of its popularity, “Beauty and the Beast” topped the box office in nearly every market where it screened. The fairy tale romance earned $44.8 million in China, grossed $22.8 million in the United Kingdom, grabbed $11.9 million in South Korea, nabbed $10.7 million in Germany, and picked up $7.6 million in Italy.
“Beauty and the Beast” even performed well in Russia, where its opening was overshadowed by controversy surrounding the inclusion of a gay character. Russian authorities gave the film a higher rating to limit younger audience’s access. Russia has a number of anti-LGBT laws in place.
Russia wasn’t the only country to voice objections. Malaysia refused to play the film because it included a gay character after Disney declined to edit four minutes from the picture. In Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed told the Malaysian government’s official news organ that “any films on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), the government will not allow (for screening) because the elements portrayed in the movie could influence us.”
“Beauty and the Beast” played in 44 major international locations, representing 66% of the international market. The film has yet to open in France, Australia, and Japan.
“Beauty and the Beast” played well in premium formats. The film earned a record-setting $21 million on 1,026 IMAX screens worldwide in 56 markets.